OriginalPosted: December 30, 2010
once again I find myself looking for excuses for not updating the blog recently. A. we spend a hell of a lot more time working on cars than the blog B. Gran Turismo 5 was released last month so our interactions with non car related technology has been mostly limited to the PS3 and C. my own immense laziness.
Okay enough of the excuses, back to the business at hand. First and foremost we can’t take much credit for this as the owner Billy has done a beautiful job of modifying this car for it’s intended track use, so credit where credit is due. It’s not very often that we are so impressed, the attention to detail even down to the minutia is rare and he is still refining it. I’m sure that he’ll have a build diary up somewhere (I’ll ask him next time I see him and update).
So what did we actually do, well as seems par for the course for us at the time this job was to be done there was no direct fit cage for this year and body shape to be found from our usual suppliers (or our unusual suppliers as the case may be). Being that this car is intended to be used on the track Billy needed an FIA approved cage. We went through the motions and ordered a Sparco weld in cage for a hatchback of the same year since we thought the dimensions would be similar. Close but no cigar (yet).
The basic shape was mostly there and luckily it fit correctly at the high stress/priority points (at the pillars and around the drivers compartment) with a little modification. We spent a little extra time creating mounting boxes (or more accurately boxing in the mounts) as opposed to just mounting to plates or welding directly to the body this at a minimum doubles the weld contact area to the body increasing safety, rigidity and eliminates the chance that the cage can erupt from its mounting points at impact. We welded in extra bracing to the sides, between the suspension mounts and the rear of the cage incorporating harness mounting bars at the perfect height for the installed racing seats (so it’s more like an * brace than an x brace). To put the icing on the very green cake we tied the whole structure into the body at various points along the pillars, roof and body using plates to further increase rigidity. Then Billy the owner spent days masking off the interior of the car for paint (ha ha tediousness).
You may have noticed I have used the word “we” multiple times in this post, what I should have said was “our very talented welding midget, who is let out of his box on special occasions, a crack welding unit who was sent to prison by a welding court for a crime he didn’t commit. This man promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Lyrecrumpane underground. Today, still wanted by the welding government, he survives as a welder of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire…The Welding Midget” but it’d take an awful long time to write.